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Lawyers Lag Behind Business World in Utilizing the iPad

Ipad I wrote back in April 2010 about how trial lawyers were beginning to integrate the iPad into their trial preparations and presentations to juries. A post yesterday on Tablet Legal explores some recent research on the impact of the iPad in the business world and how the findings might apply to law firms more generally.

As discussed on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a new Forrester report finds that:

1. The iPad is beginning to displace the traditional laptop, particularly among those who use a laptop primarily for email and web-based communications.

Tablet Legal writes that there is not much evidence that this is similarly occurring in the legal world so far, which is "surprising considering the typical short list of lawyer computing needs: reading, writing, email, calendar, contacts, internet. All of these are handled well by the iPad."

2. The iPad is replacing paper. Forrester found that "wherever people would usually carry around stacks of paper or files, particularly in medical and pharmaceutical industries, the iPad is now the preferred choice."

Tablet Legal writes that this trend also does not seem to have taken hold in the legal world. Many lawyers still "feel they can only edit or review a document in its printed form," TL writes, also noting that the move to abandon paper may begin to grow with the next generation of legal professionals.

3. The iPad is allowing companies to be more efficient, Forrester says, "by providing immediate connection to further resources and data." For example, a sales rep may use the iPad to customize a customer’s order on the showroom floor.

Tablet Legal says this is strike three for lawyers, who have not really begun to do anything similar for their clients. TL adds that two "huge opportunities" for greater efficiency may be (a) in document review/annotation, and (b) access to legal information:

The iPad offers a way for lawyers to easily bring what otherwise would fill boxes of documents and review those easily. Similarly, with an iPad a lawyer can have volumes worth of books easily accessible at the touch of a button – whether stored locally (though as noted above, this hasn’t appeared yet) or accessible via the Internet. I haven’t yet seen the first story of extensive and comprehensive document review being conducted on iPads, though I am sure the time is coming.

TL asks a great question that is also worth repeating here: is there a particular iPad "app or resource [that] could make the iPad as ubiquitous as the yellow pad?" What is it?

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 29, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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